While the UK has made significant strides in reducing salmonella contamination, feed is still a clear potential route for transferring salmonella to poultry according to bio-security experts at Kiotechagil.
The exact level of risk posed by feed contamination is very low according to the Veterinary Laboratories Agency with just 0.6% of poultry meals and 0.4% of poultry extrusions testing positive for Salmonella in 2006. However farmers need to be aware that salmonella can enter poultry farms through drinking water, mites and wild animals and this is particularly important in free-range operations and for layers and breeders where housing can become infected.
“This is a genuine concern as even if the smallest amount of salmonella is ingested this can potentially multiply inside a bird’s digestive system and any infected faeces will rapidly escalate the salmonella count,” says Kiotechagil’s chief technical officer Murray Hyden.
In the UK salmonella is believed to be responsible for around 15 percent of all cases of food poisoning with one of the key difficulties being that infected chickens have no identifying characteristics as these chickens can go on to lay eggs or to be used as meat.
“Feed additives can be used throughout the production chain to combat salmonella,” says Murray Hyden. “Organic acids, well known for their anti-bacterial properties, are the basis of these additives. Some such as Salkil, which was the first blend of organic acid to use a carrier matrix, can be added both to clean feed to protect against contamination as well as to contaminated feed to rapidly reduce salmonella.
“In addition, because Salkil includes a mineral carrier matrix, the product passes slowly through the whole of a bird’s intestine and providing a platform for the healthy bacteria to proliferate and in doing so excludes salmonella throughout the intestines and not just the early part,” emphasised Mr Hyden.
To complete the biosecurity threats Kiotechagil also supply a DEFRA approved drinking water disinfectant and a natural chemical free treatment against mites and insect pests for the poultry farmer.
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